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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. Am completely non-mechanical, so would really appreciate some help, please :roll:
I owned a 400 for around 3-4 years, then started to notice some engine noise and loss of power. The bike was always serviced regularly (although I'm only capable of checking the tyre pressure and oil level myself) but the engine finally popped one morning on the motorway - very scary. Dealer just asumed that I hadn't put oil in it - but the oil level was fine and checked just days before. Took two months to repair, but when I got the bike back I had sort of lost confidence in it and traded up to the 650. Its now done almost 6k miles (with plenty of oil in it) but the same loss of power is starting to return. Difficult to describe but just unresponsive and unhappy accelerating, although not overheating or as noisy as the last one - yet. I can't understand how I could have done this to two bikes in a row! Any advice would be great.
Thanks.
 

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There really isn't enough information in the post to hazard a guess. It certainly isn't a typical experience, so there isn't any past history to draw on. The one 400 engine failure that we have had appears to have been due to no oil in the crankcase at the time of failure. I assume that you will be taking the 650 to a dealer for examination before it gets worse.
 

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I'm not mechanical minded myself either and always took my 400 to a dealer for service. My experience is pretty much the same as Pootle. One day it went bang and it took 2 months to get it repaired.

The bike was never really the same after that and I've since traded up to a 650 too.
 

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Pootle said:
...traded up to the 650. Its now done almost 6k miles (with plenty of oil in it) but the same loss of power is starting to return. Difficult to describe but just unresponsive and unhappy accelerating, although not overheating or as noisy as the last one - yet. I can't understand how I could have done this to two bikes in a row! Any advice would be great. ...
As Paul said, difficult to diagnose over the Net, but here are a few questions:

You said you've been checking the oil levels. How, exactly, are you doing this?

Are you getting not only oil changes, but the complete factory recommended services at the recommended intervals? Who's doing the service?

Are you using the right grade of fuel per your Owner's Manual, and buying it from clean supplies at major sellers?

What's your primary riding style; lot's of highways, only around town, only five minute hops to the store once a day, etc.?

Are you riding a lot on unimproved roads that may stir up a lot of air-filter clogging dust?

The more info we have, the better the odds that we can help (although, of course, there're no guarantees).
 

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One of the problems with not being able to do your own service is sometimes the dealer does not do all he say's he did -or charges for -
I your case I would have the condition of my air filter and spark plugs checked .
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you to Brian and everyone who responded so quickly. Sorry I didn't give enough info before.
I promise that I checked the oil on both the 400 and 650.
I check it using the "sight glass" (to be honest, I prefered the 'dipstick' on the 400) - is there something else I should be doing?). Both bikes have always been serviced - well within time - by my local dealer, with their recommended oil. I commute to work, a lot of London town riding - about 65 miles per day. The roads are pretty bad in the South London area, but even so... Its part motorway, and part busy town. A week before the bike was given back to me, I was told that there must have been a problem with the oil geting through to the "top end" - whatever that is!

P.S. As a 5"5 female with a 650ccExec, I feel a little intimidated by my local dealership, and so its been nice to find a friendly forum. Thank you.
 

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Hi Pootle
Welcome to the forum.:hello2:

I am just over the border!
Well as you learned Burger 400 engine failures are not uncommon, there certainly have been some in the UK and two others reported here on the forum. There does seem to be a tendancy for them to suddenly start consuming oil voraciously (on a trip) and I would not mind betting that this is precipitated by partial piston ring failure - although I doubt Suzuki will ever reveal that. I was advised by an experienced Burger owner to check the oil before every trip and then when refuelling if on a trip (say after 150 miles or so). I have anally (if rather inconveniently) followed that advice to the letter .
You have not given enough information on the loss of power on the 650 for anything other than general advice to be given. But I doubt you are looking at the early signs of engine failure - as long as there is oil in it!

Also remember there are three oil levels to check on the 650.

Loss of power - air filter, plugs/coils (plug caps have been reported as coming off - which would give you up to 50% loss!!)), brakes binding, valve timing (unlikely) - or dare I say it - paranoia! :wink:

As it is up to 6K, I would replace the air filter now and book it in for a service (and tell them not to change it to save you ££). If the dealer has a rolling road (dynamometer) tell him you feel it is lacking power and get a before and after run. Or go to an independant for a dyno test. This may give you the piece of mind you after.

If you have been riding thro the winter do not discount the brake binding issue or indeed the potential for early wheel bearing failure again not uncommon. I say this not to scare you just to alert you.

I respect the fact that you say your are not mechanically inclined but owning a service manual would help you to tackle some of the easier items to check it really is not difficult (sometimes awkward) but difficult - no.

My bottom line guess is it that is really simple like a plug cap OR (understandable) paranoia.

Please keep us informed. :)
 

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Welcome to the BurgmanUSA forums Pootle. Glad to have you join us.

As one of the few people that have had a Burgman engine fail, I know the feeling that you might have another failure. I'm still waiting on mine to be rebuilt and may (eventually) go the route you did and trade the bike in for a 650. For me, it will depend on the performance on the engine once it's rebuilt and I've put some miles on it. The forum members are a helpful lot and have already provided some sage advise. Please keep us up to date on your findings.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
billmeek said:
Welcome to the BurgmanUSA forums Pootle. Glad to have you join us.

As one of the few people that have had a Burgman engine fail, I know the feeling that you might have another failure. I'm still waiting on mine to be rebuilt and may (eventually) go the route you did and trade the bike in for a 650. For me, it will depend on the performance on the engine once it's rebuilt and I've put some miles on it. The forum members are a helpful lot and have already provided some sage advise. Please keep us up to date on your findings.
 

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I think it may be just running on one cylinder. Get them to check to make sure both plug caps are secure.
 

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Checking the spark plug cap is something everyone should do occasionally. Having it loose will not only cause a loss of power - but it can also cause damage to the piston/cylinder/valves due to improper detonation. Your engine needs to burn all of the fuel at the precise instant that it is needed. A loose spark plug cap not only causes a weaker spark as the spark has to jump the gap, but it also causes a slightly delayed spark. This causes a hot spot on the piston, and eventually engine failure. It will blow a valve if it is delayed to the point that the valve was opening when the fuel was ignited, and I suspect that "pop" I've heard about was a "blown valve".
A delayed/weak spark detonation usually creates a knock or ping when accellerating, along with the loss of power. If you ignore the signs of problems - then they are only going to get worse.
Also - make sure you are checking the oil after it has warmed up. Too much oil is also a bad thing, and causes it's own problems. The oil will get "frothy and foamy", lose it's viscosity, and can even foam out the overflow to the point that after the engine cools it is now reading low on oil...
What would make a 400 and now a 650 do this to the same person is something that we should consider to be more than just a coincidence. I would suspect that something you are doing is contributing to this. Do you wash the bike with the high pressure washer like at a car wash? That can loosen the caps, or just get water into them (also bad). Do you store it outside (possibility of moisture contamination in the gas)?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi
The local dealership still say that the original 400 problem was due to no oil in the crankcase. The reason I was doubtful was because I checked the level about a week previously - it was fine and I hadn't noticed any leaks. Perhaps I should have checked more frequently - hey, you live and learn. Anyway, I took the 650 in this week, and they seem to think all is fine. They agree that it seems to use a lot of oil and that the air filter gets dirty quickly, but that is probably due to my usage. In the meantime I'm just happy to have a functional bike, and the next service is due in a month or two anyway. So hopefully it was just my paranoia kicking in. In the meantime, I have ordered a copy of Haynes Scooter Maintenance... :?
 

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So... Pootle,
you ever figure out what was going on?!

Was it a lack of oil or a loose spark plug, or.....??? You say you now have a functional bike. What fixed it? New oil, new service, new filters?

BTW,, how's that Haynes Scooter maintenance book workin' for ya? ?? :D :lol:

Hey, not to slap it too hard, I replaced an entire engine on an old chevy truck with just a Haynes DYI book when I was starting out. I wore that lil' book out.
 

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You guys are freaking me out. I am just purchasing a new 2005 400. I was not aware of all of these engine problems. What's up. Is it just user error or a combination of factory and user?
 

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mwolf451, no worries,

We just like to over analyize, any anomolies, we hear about. Most of the time it's something minor to correct. As with any vehicle, engine falures are very rare, and isolated. Many of our members have well over 20K miles with no problems. If it is a concern you can purchase a 4 year extended warrenty, with-in the first year of ownership. I, as many others, have not purchased it, and we are not worried about it. The rest have purchased it, for peace of mind.
 

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mwolf451 wrote
You guys are freaking me out. I am just purchasing a new 2005 400. I was not aware of all of these engine problems.
Did I miss something while I was NOT away. :lol:
I was not aware of all of these engine problems
How many engine problems do you know of in fact--not here say- but first hand ? So far my count is at three --out of how many ?
I think Jim covered it -
We just like to over analyize, any anomolies
 

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Thanks Randy, I was refering to what Norman B. wrote, but I will take Jim's advice and not worry about it.
 

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On my 400, Suzuki suspects it was a failure of a valve in the top of the engine that caused the oil to be vented out the exhaust and subsequently the engine failure. Regular oil checks will show if the 400 is using excessive oil and keep you from having a seized engine. I'm checking my oil level a lot more often now... anytime I fill up and before any ride over a few minutes.
 

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Bill - that is interesting.
It would be even more interesting if Suzy could be more specific are they saying the one or both exhaust valve stem/guide/sealing failed or some other 'valve' we don't know about? :)
 
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